Lobbyist faces disclosure charges

Accusation made by state unrelated to ongoing federal corruption probe

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2008

A lobbyist for some of Alaska's top companies is facing criminal charges in connection with failing to report lobbying work.

Al Grillo / The Associated Press
Al Grillo / The Associated Press

Anchorage's Ashley Reed, 53, is facing seven misdemeanor charges for failing to file timely reports with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

The charges were brought by the Alaska Department of Law and appear separate from the ongoing federal investigation into extensive public corruption in Alaska.

Reed, who regularly earns $500,000 a year lobbying, said he was surprised by the charges, which he said came from simply not filing monthly and other reports on time. That's something many lobbyists fail to do, and carries relatively small fines of $10 per day.

"This is a different departure from the way APOC has done business for the last 25 years," Reed said.

In the past, Reed has so regularly been late with filing that he's racked up more than $30,000 in penalties, by APOC's count.

APOC Executive Director Holly Hill said Reed knew well what the filing rules were and had been provided information by staff repeatedly on how to comply with them.

"Mr. Reed has been a lobbyist since 1983, and he's been fined numerous times for delinquent reports," she said.

The charges against Reed cover a variety of time periods, with the most recent being June, during a recent special session of the Legislature. At the time the charges were filed Wednesday, that report was still due.

Among Reed's top clients in 2007 was GCI Inc. at $70,000, Enstar Natural Gas Co. at $15,000, the Wild Alaskan Salmon Protection Association at $30,000, and numerous smaller clients.

In 2006, Reed's top year lobbying, he brought in $669,000 in fees, representing clients such as BP at a time when major natural gas pipeline and oil tax issues were under consideration.

The commission in December referred the matter of Reed's delinquent filings to the Department of Law for review for prosecution, Hill said.

Hill said the commission is a civil agency and does not have the authority to decide on criminal prosecutions on its own. Hill herself joined the agency in May.

The referral was done in December, and was done publicly at a commission meeting then. Six of the seven counts against Reed were for disclosure filings that Reed failed to make since then.

Reed acknowledged that he should have made the filings more promptly.

"I feel bad that I've been tardy," he said. He said the information, while late, was eventually disclosed.

He called the charges filed against him "an important wake-up call to be more responsible."

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